No April Fools

Today is the anniversary of my Oma’s death. Oma is grandma in German. It was more than a label though. It was her name. I was in the beginning of my teaching career and was looking forward to coming home to spend time with family over my year 2000 spring break. I was downstairs writing on the computer when the phone rang. From the caller ID I saw it was my mother.

“Hello.”

“Tammy, Oma’s gone.”

“Where did she go?”

I thought she had gotten mad at my Opa and just took the car and left.

“No, Tammy, she is gone. In her sleep.”

Honestly, I don’t remember much of the rest of the school year. I apparently called the teachers on my team to tell them. I remember trying to be calm and leave a message but was told later I was hysterical.

My Oma was like my mom. I spent all my time at her house til I was 5 and forced to go to kindergarten not in the town where they lived. Every vacation and weekend until I was in 8th grade was spent at my Oma’s house.

I remember Sunday dinner at your house. It was almost always the same menu yet seemed different all the time. Roast and gravy, “green stuff”, and boiled potatoes.

I remember laughing when we went to King’s Island and she was so silly.

I remember her making whirlpools in the swimming pool with us every summer.

I remember how scared she was during thunderstorms and how she would wake me up to go downstairs. It reminded her of the war in Germany.

I remember driving to O’hare airport to pick up my cousin from Germany so many summers and the awesome times we had.

I remember her getting the door slammed on her and dropping the German honey cake. She was so mad.

I remember her saying, “Shut the door we are not air conditioning the whole outside!”

I remember her German lullaby before I went to sleep.

I remember being in IKEA and hearing a little girl call her grandma “OMA” and how I looked for my Oma and then smiled remembering her.

I remember her German bible on the glass coffee table that I now have.

I remember today and every day how much I miss you. There is so much I wish I could tell you. I love you!

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Right Now #SOLC Day 30

I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge for the month of March! We are almost to the end. Head over to twowritingteachers.org to check out some other great blogs.

Today I am using a format from fellow blogger Terje @ Just for A Month.

Right now I am

::sitting in the bed. I do not have to go anywhere today and it is glorious!

::watching the computer screen light up to greet me me hello! We are going to spend a lot of time together over the next week.

::sensing a nap coming on mid morning.

::drinking perfect hot black coffee – only on cup one right now.

::listening to the rain ping off the roof and flow down the gutters. The birds are twittering all about it.

::finding my thoughts centering around the Neil Gaiman interview on Tim Ferris’ podcast. That episode has stuck with me. Neil is my new go to author for essays for my Bradbury Trio. I have his book of nonfiction essays.

::hearing the quiet of the morning – no alarm, no children awake yet!

::feeling thankful for my job and spring break and writing and writing community

::appreciating the love of family in my life and spending time with them

::looking forward to resting over the next week! I also have a good writing day scheduled on Monday. A real life meeting and a Zoom writing meeting.

::wondering about what I am going to write today.

::doubting I will move much today!

::admiring how much my oldest son loves baseball. He is dedicated to his team and has played two games for this season already.

::realizing that next week is my Oma’s death anniversary.

::tapping on the keys of the Chromebook is a satisfying sound

::remembering to appreciated the moment I am in and not to wish away the ones I have.

::missing nothing right now.

::worrying about money stuff but right now I cannot do anything about it.

::deciding to do #CAMPNANOWRIMO I am glad it is less restrictive. I have a (kinda) plan and I write anyway so hopefully it will be ok! ha!

::leaning on my husband as always. I am also leaning on my writing communities. I have needed them this month, more than they know!

::sending sunshine and llama love out to everyone who reads my blog

::wishing  to have a wonderful relaxing and day full of laughter, togetherness, reading, and writing!

Keeping A Notebook #SOLC Day 11


I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge. Teachers all over the world are posting on their blogs daily and at the TWT blog and then comment on at least 3 posts. There are lots of teacher-writers there I follow regularly and I have already met new ones.

Yesterday I was a gymnastics meet and was able to write in my notebook a lot in between my daughter’s events. I love a peek into other people’s notebooks and therefore their processes. I love the podcasts Keeping a Notebook from Nina LaCour and How Do You Write from Rachael Herron for this reason.

If there is a post with the word NOTEBOOK in it I am clicking every time so I thought I would share a glance into my brain that has too many drawers open with you!

Here is a list of what I put in my notebook yesterday:

  1. List of stories to find and ideas for blog posts for the month.
  2. Logged a prank my daughter played on my husband and I to put into a story.
  3. Tarot card reflections.
  4. Logged title of short story I read.
  5. Logged title of essay I read.
  6. Snippets from the 4 hour drive on Saturday to put in my compost pile for writing. One of which is the fact that 5 deer came running down in this hilly section of winding road. They all stopped at the road and waited for the cars to stop THEN ran across through the stream to the other side. It was wild and beautiful!
  7. Writing practice with the stems: I KNOW and I DON’T KNOW
  8. All the event scores and places for my daughter.
  9. start of 2 poems
  10. Planning for a story centered around a character named Ansil.
  11. List of names – first and last to mix and match
  12. Notes from a podcast about patterns.
  13. Play with verbs as an anchor concept for characters.

Do you keep a notebook?

At The End, It Was A BOWL #SOLC Day 5

I am participating in the Twowritingteachers.org Slice of Life Challenge this month.

Image result for hygge

One of the concepts I am obsessed with is Hygge. For those who have not heard this word pronounced HOO-GAH, it is a Danish word that translates roughly to comfort. It is that deeply cozy feeling when you have a fire and great food and the conversation with your friends is life-giving. Most of the time it is a conversation centering around books and or writing that makes me feel this way. Or some conversations with family and kids. Soup and bread are foods that can trigger this feeling for me when I am with people I love.

Yesterday felt like a long day. I was cold all day. I remarked this week that there are two places I am warm: my car and my bed. This is thanks to heat blasters and lots of blankets! I had dressed up in a skirt yesterday also which was not the correct attire for 11 degree weather.

Not only was it long but there were twinges of sadness throughout the day too. My son’s 16th birthday was yesterday. We are celebrating tonight with dinner he chose and ice cream cake. It will be a delightful evening. The circumstances in my life require me to share him.

Part of last night’s plan was interaction with my tribes which is usually delightful. I participated in the #teachwrite Twitter chat which was amazing. Interacting with so many teachers that are also writing SOLC posts every day is exciting. I also had a Zoom call with my writing group where the topic was Goals VS Reality. I must have used up too much connection energy in the Twitter chat because my participation in the call was lackluster and I ended my part early.

So last night my comfort was my husband which is usually the case. He had made the soup for us and its warmth was just what I needed. We laughed that potato soup is not really healthy – it is a carb overload and contains enough butter, bacon, and heavy cream to be called “Heart Attack Soup”. I ate it with delicious bread too. (More carbs.)

So at the end of the day, it was simply a bowl of soup with bread and love that I needed to fill the day with hope of which I am grateful!

Happy Slicing and Happy Llama Tuesday!

Dinner Out #SOLC Day 2

Last night my husband met me at school and we drove the 15 minutes to a local supper club that is known for its prime rib. I had been there many times before but it was the first time for my hubby.

There is a cheese spread that is brought to the table with crackers and bread. There are these little flatbreads with black sesame seeds that I love. I had salad with garlic dressing. My date had a wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon that I stole a bite of that was amazing.

The dinner of prime rib and brisket was delicious. It wasn’t quite as good as I remembered but still nice.

The conversation flowed and it was nice to have a dinner out. In a past life, I used to come to this restaurant for birthdays and Mother’s day and general celebrations. I think it has been over 5 years since I was there last.

I am looking forward to a low key day. We had a lockdown for over 2 hours Friday afternoon at school which was a little stressful.

What are some of your favorite places to eat? Are there places you always go for celebrations?

February Reflection

It is the last day of February which means it is time to reflect. Last year it was FIB – uary so luckily that was not the case in 2019.

In February, I participated in INCOWRIMO which is a letter writing challenge. The challenge is set up to send a letter every day but I didn’t. I wrote several and received responses back. It was nice to get real mail again. I missed my stationary collection I used to have but used my fountain pens a lot.

In February, I reconnected with my old home. It was great to drive around Kokomo and think about the great memories I experienced there. If you would like to read that post you can here.

In February, I connected with a writing/teaching friend from Twitter in real life. We met at a local Panera and talked writing and poetry and teaching. We are planning a writing meeting soon.

In February, I connected with more readers on the blog! I am now at over 1000 followers and am super excited. I also posted a survey to better serve my readers. I commented on posts that spoke to me and had some lovely conversation in comments and on Twitter.

In February, I connected with other writing communities through #write28days and IWSG. I was active with my Storyaday Superstars group every day. I did not attend my in real life writing group.

At the beginning of February, I attended a coaching training and enjoyed talking with other coaches and educators from the region. I was able to hand out my business cards for the first time which was exciting.

In February, I emailed several authors I admire. I also didn’t hesitate to send messages to people who wrote pieces I enjoyed.

Yesterday I met some of my husband’s family which was lovely. I was able to go to a cute coffee shop which was a bonus.

In February, I became a part of Emily P Freeman’s Book Launch Team. The book is released on April 2! I just received the full book yesterday and cannot wait to dig in.

In February, what happened? One thing is I feel more connected to people. I facilitated a Workshop Wednesday this month which was fantastic. There was lots of sharing and great discussion about checks for understanding BUT the next day was difficult because I was tired and felt depleted. I have to figure out some strategies to have that not occur.

Moving forward I have new exciting changes that are coming. I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Blog Challenge. I will continue to write daily and to submit short stories.

Writing Prompt: How would you finish the sentence starter: In February…

20 Little Joys

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

  1. Blogging and connecting with people
  2. Cheap materials for at home games – amazing what you can do with a bunch of SOLO cups!
  3. Running outside in the fall
  4. Hot dark coffee
  5. Fresh baked bread
  6. Twitter community
  7. #NANOWRIMO
  8. The Next Right Thing podcast from Emily P. Freeman
  9. Clothes that smell like fabric softener
  10. Chicken pita for dinner with cucumber and garlic herb chicken – YUM!
  11. SmartWool socks
  12. Doc Martin shoes and boots
  13. A surprise 2 hour delay!
  14. A bonus or new episode on your favorite podcasts
  15. My fountain pen
  16. Jokes among a small specific group of friends
  17. Sharing your writing and having people respond positively
  18. The possibility of getting into a writing class you REALLY want
  19. Minnesota
  20. LOVE

What brings you joy?

Thankful #SOL18

My Regular Run Route on the Bike Trail

I am thankfully off this week from work. The days are for rest, reading, fun,  and writing. Last weekend, the family played homemade Jeopardy and Pictionary. The children even made questions to test the parents knowledge of our children. We rocked it of course!

This morning I watched Friends show bloopers and laughed harder than I have laughed in a long while. The laugh that feels like you are doing an ab workout.

I am thankful for time and weather to allow me to run. I have logged 10 miles in two days. I forget how the runs fuel my creative mind. I thought of poem lines, new clubs for school, an ending for my novel, and other essay topics. 

I am thankful for my writing. I am to 35,000 words for my NANOWRIMO which is National Novel Writing Month.

I am not just thankful this week. I am thankful every week. This week allows me to be extra thankful for what I have in my life. 

What are you thankful for?

5 On Friday

5 on Friday

What is Saving my Life Right Now

Taking the format from Tsh-

  1. The thing that is saving my life is my fountain pen. It was recommended to me by Ninja Writer Shaunta Grimes. It is amazing and I love writing with it. It is deeply satisfying to run it out of ink.
  2. The habit that I have adopted that is saving my life is showering when I get home from work. I am able to “wash the day away” and it helps me mentally transition.
  3. The work of art that is saving my life right now is Kelly Link’s story FLYING LESSONS.
  4. A philosophy that is saving my life is: Follow the White Rabbit: Be Brave. To read my thoughts about this click here.
  5. A bonus thing that is saving my life is this episode of The Secret Library Podcast.